Though Jesus warned against anxiety over material possessions, it was more often the apostle Paul who referred specifically to greed in the New Testament. In fact, in his list of what the Christian is to “put to death” he equates greed with idolatry (Eph. 5:5; Col. 3:5). It doesn’t get much worse than that! It is no wonder that Paul insists that greed must not even be mentioned among Christians (Eph. 5:3); the greedy will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:10) and folks in the church are not even to associate with the greedy (1 Cor. 5:11)…
Simply put, greed is loving money and material possessions too much. It is not just having things, but having them inordinately… Evil sets in when one has an excess or a deficiency of that measure… Aquinas insists that prodigality is as dangerous as covetousness, since, while covetousness is deficient in giving and excessive in retaining and acquiring, prodigality is excessive in giving and deficient in retaining and acquiring such that one has too careless a concern for wealth… To put it another way, greed manifests itself in different forms—the cutthroat competitor, the workaholic, the swindler, the miser, the gambler.
Jacques Ellul writes “Wealth is temptation because it urges us to put our confidence in money rather than in God… For human beings prefer what they can see and touch to what God promises and gives.”
It can be argued that any time we place our hope and trust in the material world we have committed a form of idolatry. One who no longer finds his goal or fulfillment in God but seeks fulfillment in himself, his possessions, or his acquisitiveness, creates an idol that strives to subject everything to itself.
– Dennis Okholm, Dangerous Passions, Deadly Sins